Tata Motors, maker of the world's cheapest car, is turning to China to buy autoparts unavailable in India as it seeks to offer vehicles with automatic transmission at home, chairman Ratan Tata said.
The maker of trucks, sedans and utility vehicles may benefit from "unbelievable" prices at Chinese component makers, Tata, who will step down as head of the company in December, said. The company will buy "sub-assemblies" including automatic transmissions from neighboring China, he said.
Tata is seeking to offer a wider choice to entice customers as competition from Toyota Motor and Ford Motor intensifies at home. Profit at the company's Indian unit, which makes the $2,700 Nano, fell to its lowest in three years in the 12 months ended March 31.
"Sourcing from China would be the only way forward for Tata given that an Indian supplier may not be willing to build something like an automatic transmission unless the volumes were high enough," said Deepesh Rathore, managing director of IHS Automotive in India.